Friday, March 21, 2008

Here’s What Spring In The TC Looks Like

Yeah. Kinda makes you wish you were here.

Tip Of The Day: Due to the nasty weather, I am changing my post topic. I need to feel warm and comforted, and nothing accomplishes that better than food.
Cheap eats in the TC to make you happy when the weather sucks.

Tip For The Weekend: Have the very best Easter. And as a special Easter Bunny treat, I’ll even put up a post over the weekend. I know, how very big of me. It’s true, I am ALL THAT.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Today’s post was going to be about ‘shopping your closet’ – going through your spring clothes, trying them on to make sure they fit, donating the ones that don’t, and combining the stuff that still works into new and exciting outfits. Instead of going out and buying new and exciting outfits, which gets expensive.

However, because we are in mid-blizzard, I can’t work up any enthusiasm to talk about my spring wardrobe. Especially since I won’t be able to wear any of it for another month or two. Also, I can’t work up any enthusiasm about shopping my winter closet. I came, I saw, I wore it all. In short, I have nothing left to say about my winter clothes, except that I would like to not have to wear them anymore.

I suppose I shouldn’t bitch too much about the weather. All this melty snow is good for our water supply and the crops. By the way, I said that today at work – “all this melty snow is good for the crops” – and it just cracked my co-workers’ shit UP. I guess it was a bit incongruous for me to talk about agriculture. Shoes, yes. Farmers, no.

Anyhoo, with the nasty weather and being mocked by my colleagues, I long to be comforted. And what is more comforting than FOOD? Oo, oo, I know! CHEAP FOOD. So, here are some cheap eats around the TC, to comfort your soul and take your mind off that fact that, Narnia-like, this winter may never end.

1. The Convention Grill: Larue and I had dinner at this hamburger and malt shop on Wednesday. I love their hand-formed (as opposed to machine-formed) beef patties, the varied selection of cheeses for your cheeseburger, and the FREE grilled onions they throw on top on your sandwich. Plus, their skin-on, thin and crispy fries are almost as good as my gold standard – Casper and Runyon’s Nook.
You can get malt or shake to go with your burger, a fancy grilled cheese if burgers aren’t your thing, or a good-for-you grilled chicken sandwich if fat isn’t your thing. Of course, I hope fat IS your thing, so you don’t pass on their famous hot-fudge sundae, complete with a pitcher of sauce that you pour on your ice cream yourself. Or, if you are me, straight down your throat.
You can try to spend more than $20 at the Grill, but good luck. My cheeseburger, half of a half-order of fries (I split it with Larue, who bogarted most of them), and vanilla Coke cost just $12, including tax and tip.

The Convention Grill, (952) 920-6881, on France and 44th in Edina.

2. Salut Bar Americain: I know, I know, this is a more expensive restaurant. However, they offer a Le Deal menu during the week (not available on the weekends), and it IS a deal. $15.95 for dinner nets you soup or salad, a choice from two entrees, and a choice from two desserts. They also have a $9.95 lunch Le Deal, French onion soup in a HUGE crock with about a pound of cheese added to it for $8.95, and outstanding skin-on fries with Béarnaise sauce (enough for two) for $4.95.
On Sundays, they feature their Zee Sunday Super Slider Supper - $8.95 for 2 cheese sliders and fries. This is served family-style, so you need to dine with at least one other person. Don’t worry; they throw in an extra slider for your trouble.
My favorite thing is their wine menu. You can order house wines in three different price levels, and the bottom tier is called Cheap. It’s like they were thinking of me! I feel loved. Oh, and that Cheap wine? It tastes yummy and costs just $6 per glass.

Salut Bar Americain,, located on 50th and France in Edina.

3. Okay, that’s two in Edina. How about one in St. Paul – Rooster’s BBQ and Deli, home of the only fried chicken that is worth the fat grams. I am clearly not a lover of fried chicken, but this stuff… it’s like chicken Nirvana. And at $9.81 for an 8-piece bucket, it’s cheap, too.
I got the quarter chicken dinner – two pieces of chicken, fries and cole slaw for $6.54 – the last time I was there. Next time, I’ll forgo the side dishes and focus on the main attraction. Why waste stomach space on something other than the best fried chicken in the world?
They also dish out barbeque sandwiches of “smoked and stacked” pork shoulder. Just writing that sentence made my mouth water. A small sandwich is $5.37, a large is $7.01, and you can get them “Memphis Style” for a few cents extra. Memphis Style means they top the pork with cabbage slaw and BBQ sauce – not my thing, but then I’m a purist when it comes to pork barbeque.

Rooster's BBQ and Deli, (651) 222-0969, on the corner of Randolph and Chatsworth in south St. Paul.

If none of this tasty, fattening food is enough to drag you out of your home, you can do like I do when the going gets too tough. Buy a supply of Totino Party Pizzas (99 cents each at Target), hunker down in front of the TV, and watch whatever reality show is on. I prefer America’s Next Top Model, myself.


LaRue said...

Excuse me? ALMOST AS GOOD? For shame! It is better than Casper's and has been since you were a wee Chiclet and we went there in high school after the stag dances. (PUSH IT REAL GOOD!)

And I would like to point out that I had a mere chicken breast and you had a massive hamburger, thus making me more hungry than you and necessitating the eating of more fries. Its a federal LAW. I'm pretty certain.

And I would pay big money to have a picture of you on a tractor. In heels. Heh. (Salut is pretty good though.)

mia said...

I noticed at 7-11 that the most basic Totino's Party Pizza is $2.29! TWO FREAKIN' TWENTY-NINE! That goes against everything a Totino's Pizza stands for.